Why MBA programs must do more to make their grads more appealing to employers
Why MBA programs must do more to make their grads more appealing to employers: As competition between MBA programs to get their graduates placed with top companies intensifies, so does the pressure on them to justify a strong return on investment, writes Jonathan Moules for the Financial Times. Business schools must do more to promote the return on investment of an MBA for companies, according to Scott DeRue, dean of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. For one thing, an MBA graduate is a hot commodity, with 72% of companies surveyed by business school entrance exam administrator the Graduate Management Admission Council saying they plan to recruit MBA graduates this year, up from 69% last year. Then there is competition from other degrees, as companies look for more specialized skills. “40% of employers surveyed said they expect to hire more people with specialist skills, such as those offered by master in management and master in finance degrees, compared with 28% who said they would hire more for the generalist teaching of an MBA.”
Beyond competition, there’s also the length of time a graduate needs to pan out for the company. As with any return on investment, the sooner it comes, the better. “An MBA hire is typically negative until the third year of employment, which puts an onus on the school to explain the rewards of hiring their students,” says DeRue. And if MBA selections do not pan out, companies, especially in tech, might opt to train employees in-house. “Amazon says, ‘If you can provide students with the right mix of business and data analytics skills, then we will have them,” he added.